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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 461-464

Dietary calcium intake and physical activity levels among urban South Indian postmenopausal women

1 CSI Hospital, Erode, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jeffrey Pradeep Raj
49, Madhavi Street, Teachers' Colony, Erode 638 011, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India; CSI Hospital, Erode, Tamil Nadu, India., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.161355

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Introduction: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our body with varied functions and its dietary deficiency leads to osteoporosis, besides playing a significant role in the pathogenesis of other diseases. The data regarding dietary calcium intake (DCI) among postmenopausal women in urban areas of South India is limited. Objectives: This study was aimed to assess DCI and physical activity among postmenopausal women. The risk factors for a low intake of dietary calcium were also assessed. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done among 106 postmenopausal women selected by systematic random sampling from the city of Erode, Tamil Nadu, India. DCI and physical activity were measured using validated questionnaires. Results: The mean DCI was 632.72 ± 28.23 mg/day. The proportion of women consuming less than 800 mg/day of dietary calcium was 74.5%. Only 10.4% of the women studied (11 out of 106) were on calcium supplements while 55% had low physical activity. A low knowledge score [adjusted odds ratio (OR): 5.17; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.31-20.42] and a low socioeconomic status (SES) score of the family (adjusted OR: 4.00; 95% CI: 1.32-12.11) were significantly associated with low DCI after adjusting the age, dietary preferences, and educational and occupational statuses. Conclusions: DCI was below the  Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and the majority of postmenopausal women were physically inactive, indicating the need for better education regarding DCI and the need for calcium supplements and physical activity, all of which can contribute to the prevention of the consequences of osteoporosis.

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